- Car Care & Maintenance
Tips on saving gasoline
Tips for lowering your gas costs
Hi! With gas prices constantly in turmoil, I thought I would suggest some ways to get more done with the same amount of money gasoline-wise. Of course, you can't control what international governments and big companies do, but you do have some control over how much fuel you can use in most cases. Most of these tips won't sound new to many of you, but I thought I would share a few ideas that have helped me over the years. Some of these tips may not be feasible or, at least be difficult for many of your, but just about everyone can do a few of these.
Where I live, gas prices are crazy and usually a lot higher than most of the country, so it's important to learn how to get around with less driving. Unfortunately, the public transportation where I live is below par and geography makes it hard for more efficient means of transportation to get around.
Buy only the amount of car you need
This may sound strange to some people, but to save gas, only buy enough car you need to suit your needs. This doesn't mean it can't be a flashy, sophisticated, high-class car. Instead, it means if you don't need a huge SUV or pick-up truck and can get buy on something more fuel efficient, then buy the more fuel efficient car, instead. Of course, it's your own choice what kind of car or truck you buy, but if you're trying to save gas, be wary of how size affects gas mileage. If shopping at a dealership, check out the mileage ratings. Hybrid or alternative fuel vehicles may be a good choice for those who must have a larger vehicle, but still want to save gas.
I know a guy who has a plug-in hybrid and he swears he gets 852 miles per gallon because he almost never needs to buy gas and almost always drives on electric mode. Of course, he still uses electricity to charge up his car, so there is some energy consumption going on there. One day, though, he says he wants to get a solar powered electric hybrid. I am not aware there is such a car in mass production--yet.
Get started on your automotive research
Here are a few helpful items to help you search for your next car.
Keep your car tuned up
This is one of the easiest things to do and if you do it correctly and at the right intervals, it can actually save you gas as well as save on your smog or safety inspection. Follow your manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule if you do an average amount of driving, about 10,000 to 12,500 miles a year. If you do less, you can stretch out your maintenance a little longer, drive more, you should be doing more maintenance.
Things that you should pay particular attention to are the tires, spark plugs, spark plug wires, air filter, and fuel injectors. Also, many people may not know that carrying a lot of weight in the car will also drag down gas mileage and increase wear and tear on the car.
And, while we're on the topic of keeping the car in good condition and driving, another way to save gas is by changing your driving habits. Don't start quickly when the light turns green or from stop signs. And, slow down. No, I don't mean slow down and block traffic, but stay closer to the speed limit. This will not only help save on gas, but make your car last longer.
Items to help keep your car in shape
These things might help your car perform better and use less gas. I tried to pick items that are actually useful or informational. Be wary of any gadget or service that claims to improve your gas mileage above what is normal for your car's type and size. Many of those are scams. The best thing is to keep your car tuned and serviced at regular intervals.
Combine errands as much as possible. Try to do as many errands as you can in one area and while going to and from an area. For example, if you need to pick up dry cleaning and a grocery store is also in the same location, perhaps you can pick up some groceries and take your dry cleaning at the right time.
Photo in this module provided by Josh Smith via Creative Commons.
c. 1940 Gas Station by Edward Hopper
1940s Gas Station
This painting was done by Edward Hopper, a famous artist from the 40s-60s. Back then, gas was a lot cheaper, that's for sure. I doubt they could see seventy years in the future and see what gasoline and gas prices are like today.
This poster is available for purchase on Allposters.com. Click on the link below the photo for more information.
Try alternative transportation
Try not using your car once in a while and use alternative transportation. For example:
*Try walking with your kids to school (or bus stop) instead of driving them (I don't know why this is out fashion nowadays. When I was a kid, everyone walked to school and sometimes the parents went with them).
*If you have co-workers or fellow students living nearby with nearly the same hours, try your work's or school's carpool program. This may be difficult for those who work odd hours or a lot of overtime.
*Try bicycling. Find out if your workplace encourages cycling to work or provides showers, lockers, etc.
*Try walking to nearby stores if you live in a safe neighborhood. Bring a cart if you plan to do shopping.
*Take mass transit. Check out what the fares and cost of passes are in your area. If you get your mileage paid by your job or you have a short commute, it might not be worth the cost depending on the cost of fares where you live.
*See if there is a car-sharing program in your city. If you live in a dense urban area and don't drive enough to justify the expense of a car, this might be for you.
Bikes and bicycle-related items on eBay!
Bicycles are not only good for transportation, but also for exercise. You can kill two birds with one stone when you ride your bike. I frequently use mine to run errands.
Use those apps!
Use apps to find the best prices in your area without driving around. I like to use Gas Buddy. With it, I can find the lowest gas prices in my area. There are also many other apps to help you out. If you don't have an app driven device try using Fuel Tracker or Gas Buddy through their websites.
I like to use Gas Buddy, myself. One click and I get the most up to date gas prices in my local area. I can also look up other areas to find out what their gas prices are in case I want to travel.
How do you save on gas?
How do things work in your family, your neighborhood, your town?